There IS a difference in files we choose to use in our Salons?

In my early years of Foot Care at my Salon, all I knew from what I learned, is that my job was to make people feel pretty. We weren’t trying to solve problems or identify skin conditions of the feet. We weren’t talking with our clients about at home care between Pedicure visits. We were Pedicurist. By definition, we were caring for the feet by trimming the toenails. The pretty came in via a little bit of sloughing and a nice massage at the end. My how things have changed!

Now, we are Foot Care Specialist. We take advanced classes on Advanced Pedicuring, Infection Control and Diabetic Foot Care. We learn about conditions of the skin, infections of the toenails and what we should and should NOT be doing as Pedicurist in our Salons. We work in Podiatry offices, we care for the Elderly, Diabetes is on the rise and we are presented with conditions of the nails and feet which……we never would learn in school.

However, somehow along the way, we have failed to learn the basics. We go out of our way to learn about “products”. We take classes to learn about “techniques”. We bling, we ombre, we glitter and more. But, we don’t pay much attention to the tools, the implements, the files……..used in our Pedicure service.

We have many different choices available to us these days. The pumice, Peel-n-stick files, cheese graters metal and Stainless Steel. And, I just have to add…..they are NOT paddles. Slap my B— with a paddle, reduce my callouses with a file….thank you very much!

Let’s begin with;

SANDPAPER OR GLASSPAPER-these are names used for a type of “coated” abrasives that consist of paper or cloth with abrasive material glued to the face.

The abrasive which is glued to it, is the grit. Grit refers to the particle diameter. The larger the grit, the smaller the particle size. The smaller the grit, the coarser the particles are.

The glue (or adhesive) used to bond the abrasive to the paper is different as well. Is it heat generated, is it waterproof? Can you use it wet? Or only dry?

Using “sandpaper” whether it’s 1X use, peel & stick or other
is NOT safe for use in our Pedicure rooms!

Grit particles, not seen by the naked eye are “falling” if you will, off
of the paper it is glued to, during the filing process.

Where it is going?

In addition, let me share with you what I hear from many Technicians…..

I perform a service on my client. When she/he leaves my chair the feet are smooth.
Upon return the feet are rough and “split”

Does this happen to you?
Sandpaper shreds the skin, due to it’s irregular heights.
You can not see it, but it IS leaving tiny, little micro tears on the skin which,
over time will produce rough, cracked skin.


PUMICE-A gray stone that comes from volcanoes. It is full of small holes, is very light weight and is used for smoothing.

Okay, great…used for smoothing. But, it can also have very sharp, jagged edges. And, it is also a soft stone which tiny particles can break off and not be seen by the naked eye.

Consider this; Pumice is used as an abrasive in pencil erasers, a traction enhancer in tire rubber, an absorbent in cat litter and a lightweight filler for pottery clay….just to name a few. Pumice can disintegrate.

Pumice leaves tiny micro tears on the skin which, over time
will produce rough, cracked skin.

My biggest concern with Pumice however, is cleanliness. Did you know?

Pumice has to be used wet or it can damage the skin?

Pumice has to be rinsed frequently under warm, running water to wash away skin cell flakes AND prevent the pumice from drying out?

Pumice has to be cleaned after every use (this means after each foot)
A toothbrush with soap is recommended to be used for “several” minutes and then rinsed well in warm, running water (again, after each foot)

Pumice can NOT be sterilized because of the porous nature of the material. Pumice has many dark and caverness hiding places for nasties to grow.

AND……Pumice MUST be air dried completely before storage. If left wet, it is a breading ground for growth of fungus.
SATAN’S PARMESAN GRATER-I’m sorry, need I say more? Educating our clients is the key to solving the problem on how wonderful their feet are after receiving a pedicure with use of a parmesan grater. It IS instant gratification AND in our Society of “what’s in it for me, I want it NOW”……they truly are being taken advantage of.

Parmesan Graters – SHRED THE SKIN
Skin comes back faster AND thicker after use of a PG
It is NOT safe for the elderly a diabetic or for ANYONE

STAINLESS STEEL-Lesson #1. Not all stainless steel is created equal. Steel is a combination of iron and carbon. However, other metals like tungsten, vanadium,, manganese and chromium and nickel is also used. There are different grades and surface finishes of stainless steel, and it is important to have certain properties in order for the stainless steel to be corrosion resistant.

In addition, if a steel is heat treated, coated, formed or forged, a thinner material can be used. A thin file can indicate a higher carbon content of steel which, is not the ultimate for cleaning. This would be an indication of NOT being a high grade surgical steel and cannot be completely cleaned or sterilized.

Surface coating (nickel or chromium) can penetrate the application through the micro abrasions of irregular heights of file surface from forming what creates high areas for micro abrasions. Heat treating splits the cold rolled steel creating fissure or cracks allowing nasties to hide and grow and allows for the material to become bridle. These types of files again, cannot be 100{41aa4bb89c477f1e334505d76149b7c47b1e52c0a22817e445c0fb4c76e652bd} cleaned and sterilized or…….safe.

In fact, the highest quality stainless steel can be cleaned again and again where the cleaning will never compromise the integrity of the file. Lower quality steel loses it’s cleaning bill of health.

I also found out that when a file is made in the USA there is a certification required to verify the quality of the material. Every run (not just 1X per year) has to go through rigid testing on it’s complete makeup. A list of alloys and their percentages are submitted for proper certification and the metal needs to meet EPA requirements for public health and safety.

This means….if a Company is making the claim they are
100{41aa4bb89c477f1e334505d76149b7c47b1e52c0a22817e445c0fb4c76e652bd} Surgical (or Medical Grade) Stainless Steel
They can only be made in the USA
Out of the Country made “stainless steel” files
making this claim…..may be FALSE advertising or cannot be verified,
based on USA consistent and vareifiable standards.
GLASS FILES-Full transparency! I could find absolutely nothing on glass files and how they are made. I welcome anyone who has this information to please share.

Why the talk on files?

We MUST begin talking about our tools and implements.

We MUST be educated to educate our clients!

We MUST realize and completely understand……price should not be an
issue when it comes to using the proper tools in our Pedicure rooms!
Centre for Beauty is starting a campaign to help our technicians….help their clients.

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